United Nations Peace Forces Headquarters
Siege des Forces de Paix des Nations Unies
Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the Former Yugoslavia
31 July 1995
Thank you for your letter which you sent to me yesterday evening in response to the fax outlining the undertaking that was entered into yesterday by the political leadership in Knin.
May I use the opportunity afforded by this reply, to reiterate my deep concern and that of the international community, that a wider war is imminent. It is a war which can still be avoided by statesmanship and understanding. The undertaking reached yester-day in Knin was an important step and deserves closer attention.
In this regard, may I emphasise that the statement was not a bilateral agreement to which the UN was a party but the record of a commitment made by the leadership in Knin. Thus the omission of UNCRO was solely the decision of the leadership. However, I am of the view that clear acceptance of UNCRO's mandate was implied in other parts of the statement (for example see Paragraph 5).
Paragraph 5 of the statement also mentions the full implementation of the border crossing points under the UNPF mandate referred to in Your Exellency's letter. We took a very firm line with the Knin leadership on this issue emphasising our intention FULLy to implement our mandate. In the present circumstances we are giving priority to the Bihac pocket. However, I wish to assure you that other deployments will follow.
President of the Republic of Croatia
I do not believe it is as easy as Your Excellency suggests to outwit the UN representatives whom I lead. On the question of humanitarian aid, we are following, and will continue to follow, the well understood and accepted criteria applied by UNHCR. Aid is delivered, without exception, strictly in accordance with need and should not be obstructed by any of the parties.
With reference to the oil pipeline, the railway line and the very important constitutional matters referred to in your letter, I am fully cognizant of the position of Your Excellency's Government, but as you are aware these are matters within the competence of the ICFY Co Chairmen. I have met yesterday and today with Mr. Stoltenberg and have drawn his attention to your concerns which I know he is already addressing in his efforts to bring about a meeting in Geneva as soon as possible.
Mr. President, I am gravely concerned that the momentum for war is now so great that only a determined and statesmanlike intervention will prevent it.
The undertakings given by the Knin leadership, if implemented promptly and in good faith, would surely mark a significant step towards creating the conditions for peace that you seek. In that event I would have every confidence that a peaceful solution could be found which would fully meet those conditions. In order to achieve it, positive action must be taken now and any preconditions should not be too rigid.
Accept, Mr. President, the assurances of my highest consideration.